MercoPress, en Español

Montevideo, May 22nd 2019 - 09:27 UTC

Argentina: abortion bill rejected but reforms could be introduced to the Criminal Code

Thursday, August 9th 2018 - 11:38 UTC
Full article 12 comments

The Argentine Senate as was anticipated finally rejected a divisive bill that would have legalized elective abortion for pregnancies of up to 14 weeks. Thirty-eight senators voted against the legislation on Thursday following a debate that lasted more than 15 hours. Read full article


Disclaimer & comment rules
  • Enrique Massot

    The Aug. 8 rejection by the Senate of a bill legalizing abortions outlines a need to further separate the Argentine state from the Catholic Church, an institution that used its resources and influence to sway an undetermined number of senators and thereby imposing religious principles on society at large.

    Although Argentina is a laic country, the state still pays the wages of bishops and archbishops to the tune of $130 million pesos per year. Much more is given to the Catholic Church in subsidies to private Catholic schools, tax exemptions, church buildings maintenance etc.

    In contrast, Brazil, Uruguay and Chile do not support any cult.

    It may come as a surprise to many that Argentina legalized divorce only in 1987 under the government of Raul Alfonsin. The Catholic Church led a fierce battle to prevent the passing of the bill that included threats of excomunion to legislators voting in favour.

    Uruguay, in contrast, legalized divorce in 1907.

    Argentina had previously approved divorce in 1954 under the government of Juan Domingo Peron, however the military dictatorship issued of the bloody 1955 coup promptly cancelled that law.

    In 2010, under the government of Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, legislators passed the “equality marriage” law that allowed same sex couples to legalize their unions. Again, the Catholic Church led the opposition to the law, predicting total decomposition of society.

    It remains that, in spite of this setback, women across the country have developed a powerful, irreversible movement that will eventually move the Argentine society ahead.

    The green handkerchiefs have become a part of our history.

    Aug 09th, 2018 - 04:21 pm - Link - Report abuse +2
  • Zaphod Beeblebrox


    “a need to further separate the Argentine state from the Catholic Church”

    I agree.

    Aug 09th, 2018 - 05:06 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Tarquin Fin


    Well, it seems like we all could agree to that

    Aug 09th, 2018 - 05:22 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • pgerman

    As corresponded to a visionary, and true liberal statesman, the first attempt to legalize the divorce in Argentina was during the Second Presidency of JA Roca in year 1902. The initiative was presented by a pro-government representative from the “Lower Chamber”, with the explicit support of the President, but the law was rejected by very few votes against it.

    The history “told” by the nationalist and populist trend has worked very hard, and very successfully by the way, to erase the merits of J. A. Roca. Catholic Church will never forget nor forgive the called “Liberal Laws” run during the First Presidency of J.A. Roca

    Aug 09th, 2018 - 08:10 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    Seems this is the one thing we all agree on. Pgerman, what were the other Liberal Laws Roca passed, and were they repealed later?

    Aug 09th, 2018 - 08:56 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • pgerman

    Demon Tree

    President J.A. Roca managed to get Law 1420 (of mandatory, free and secular education) passed facing the Catholic Church opposition.
    The Argentine government had to expel the Apostolic Nuncio of the Vatican from the country and Argentina “lived” without the Pope's ambassador for 17 years. This was a true educational revolution since it almost tripled the number of students in public schools.

    Unfortunately, there were several attempts from the Catholic Church to return to compulsory religious education. Take for instance that during the first presidency of Gral J. D. Peron the public education went back to be religious.

    In the last decade, Law 1420 was replaced by a new law that allows mandatory religious education. This was applied in the more traditional Peronist provinces: Salta, Tucuman, etc. Recently, parents of students a demand of the Province of Salta, reached the Supreme Court of Justice that prohibited the province the implementation of mandatory religion education in public schools. Some parents have sued the provincial government of Tucuman. Peronists have always been quite conservative…

    Other “liberal laws” promoted by J. A: Roca were: the secularization of cemeteries, the administration of the civil registry by the State (previously administered by the Catholic Church and “not catholically baptized” people could not be registered or formally married). The extension of the Immigration Promotion Law (which was applicable only to Christians was by decree extended to Jews and, thus, thousands of Jews were able to enter the country as immigrants).

    Aug 10th, 2018 - 12:29 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    Interesting. Roca certainly seemed keen to reduce the power of the Catholic church, and so do you. I guess you think it's had a bad influence on Argentina, but is that just 'social' laws like divorce and abortion, or is there more to it?

    Also, from what I've seen of Peronism, it's easy for two people with totally opposite opinions to both call themselves Peronist, so you can have both very conservative Peronists and also very liberal ones, no? The FpV nearly all voted in favour of the legislation.

    Aug 12th, 2018 - 08:15 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • pgerman


    Once an Argentine journalist specialized in politics said that “a Peronist with leftist ideas is like a bald man with braids”. This means that, for historical and ideological reasons, it is impossible for a conservative right-wing populist party with fascist views to be “leftist”. The same is applicable to a “liberal” Peronist.

    CFK was strongly anti-abortion and pro-Vatican while she was in power. She blocked all attempts of deputies and senators to open the abortion devate in Congress and she explicitly declared herself as “catholic and anti-abortion”.

    Now, being a political corpse, she intends to win some votes from Argentine youth (mostly pro-abortion) with a position diametrically opposed to what she had when he was in government and concrolled both chambers of the Congress. .

    Aug 13th, 2018 - 04:15 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    It's not uncommon for parties to change their ideology over time, though. Look at America where the Democrats used to be pro-slavery and pro-segregation, but 100 years later were the ones to pass the civil rights act banning discrimination. Or the Brazilian Labour Party, which no longer has anything to do with labour and is now right of centre if anything.

    I guess you disagree with the Catholic church's socially conservative ideas (as do I), but do you think its influence has hampered the economic development of Argentina, too? I would more expect Enrique to say such a thing; eg that the church supports the elite by encouraging people to stay in their 'place' rather than wanting more from life and striving to better themselves.

    Re CFK, likely you're right about why she changed her mind. I'm glad Macri allowed it to go to a vote even though he is personally opposed.

    Aug 13th, 2018 - 08:49 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Think

    Argie recalcitrant Masonic Turnip..., Mr. Pgerman tells us above that...:
    “CFK was strongly anti-abortion and *** PRO-VATICAN *** while she was in power”

    Argie recalcitrant Catlick newspaper “La Nacion” of Argentina tells us that...:

    One of them IS telling porkies...
    Me monies on Pgerman...
    Chuckle, chuckle...

    Aug 13th, 2018 - 08:00 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    Since when do you believe what they write in La Nacion? I liked this bit though:

    “Nuestro Dios es de todos, pero cuidado que el diablo también llega a todos, a los que usamos pantalones y a los que usan sotanas.”

    Aug 14th, 2018 - 11:57 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • pgerman


    Mr. Think has two of the most basic characteristics of Peronist people:

    1) They always course and offend those who think differently. A simple, and irrefutable, proof of their authoritarianism: the contempt feelings for those who think differently.

    2) The feelings of shame caused by the political “allies” they always choose: General Francisco Franco, General Augusto Pinochet, General Alfredo Stroessnerr, Batista, Nicolae Caucescu, Gadaffy, Chavez, Maduro, the Government of Iran, the Government of Angola, Pope Francisco ...

    Aug 15th, 2018 - 01:56 pm - Link - Report abuse 0

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!